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Eli Wallach dies at 98

By Wednesday, 25 June 2014 15:48 0

Eli Wallach, the prolific US character actor who starred in The Magnificent Seven and in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, has died aged 98.

Wallach was an early practitioner of method acting. After studying at the Actors Studio, he went on to have a career in film and TV that spanned over six decades.

He also appeared in a wide variety of stage roles, often alongside his wife Anne Jackson.

Wallach made a lasting impression as the scuzzy bandit Tuco opposite Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, Sergio Leone's spaghetti Western classic.

He stood out as Calvera, the Mexican bandit chieftain, in The Magnificent Seven, an adaptation of the Japanese classic Seven Samurai.

He also appeared as a mobster in Francis Ford Coppola's mafia saga The Godfather: Part III.

Other notable roles came in How The West Was Won, Mystic River, and The Misfits, where he starred with Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, who both died before they could complete another movie.

The prolific actor has 167 film and TV credits stretching back to 1951, according to the IMDB. 

Despite much critical acclaim during his decades in movies he never received an Oscar nomination. However, in 2010 he was given an honorary Academy Award. 

The Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences citation described him as "the quintessential chameleon, effortlessly inhabiting a wide range of characters, while putting his inimitable stamp on every role". 

The son of Jewish immigrants from Poland who owned a candy store in an Italian neighbourhood in Brooklyn, Wallach served in World War Two and then began studying acting.

His first movie role came in 1956, when he starred alongside Carroll Baker in Baby Doll, directed by Elia Kazan.

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